Joyce Robillard (1936-2019)

Joyce Robillard

Joyce A. Robillard, 83, of Poughkeepsie, died Sept. 22, 2019, surrounded by her husband and children.

Born in Beacon in April 1936, she was the eldest daughter of John and Eloise (Gifford) Wisniewski. As a young girl, Joyce learned to play piano and taught tap and ballet dancing for the Sally Cunningham Studio. She and one of her sisters, Joan, often performed in minstrels and talent shows, popular in that day.

She graduated from Beacon High School in 1954, was married in 1956 to Joseph Robillard, and once her three children were all in school, worked at the Marshall & Sterling Agency and earned an accounting degree from Dutchess Community College. She was promoted to manager of Marshall & Sterling’s Master Risk, Inc. which she led until she retired in 1993 to enjoy her piano, sailing, golf and tennis.

Throughout her adult life, Joyce volunteered extensively with various organizations, most intensively with the American Heart Association.

After her retirement, she and her husband volunteered to provide music therapy at local adult care facilities, where she would play the piano and her husband would sing. Her love for the piano stayed strong as she played almost daily on her baby grand, filling the house with music by composers from Chopin to Cole Porter.

Besides her husband of 63 years, Joyce is survived by her children, John, Glen and Donna; her sisters, Joan Lyons and Janet Promnitz; her grandchildren Russell, Megan and Emily Robillard; and her son-in-law William O. Rights and daughter-in-law Margaret Robillard.

A service was held on Sept. 27 at Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to the American Heart Association (, the American Cancer Society ( and/or the Hudson Valley Hospice Foundation (

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